If you are going through or finished a divorce, Christmas can be a difficult time. The first holiday season as a single parent can be a struggle for you and your kids. With the other parent absent, your children may be more emotional and need extra comfort.
Navigating the holidays after divorcing your spouse is never easy, but there are some actions you can take to ease the pain. Here are some guidelines for handling your first Christmas after a divorce.
1. Normalize expressing emotions
Your kids are likely feeling grief as they try to celebrate a special holiday between two households. Let them know that it is perfectly normal and fine to feel sad and cry even during what should be a joyful time. Talk to them about how there is no correct way to grieve and that everyone is different. Let them know you are there if they want to talk to you about what they are feeling.
2. Include a mixture of old and new traditions
Partaking in old traditions can give your kids a sense of consistency. At the same time, new traditions may help them not think about the painful fact that their parents are no longer together. Ask your kids what traditions they want to keep. For example, they may want to watch familiar movies with you, but they may prefer to decorate the tree differently.
3. Take care of yourself
While it is vital to comfort your children, you need support as well. Celebrating the holidays is a stressful and emotional time for you as well, so do not forget to surround yourself with loved ones so you do not become isolated. Make plans to see family members and friends as you figure out how to parent after a divorce.
The holidays may not feel as jolly right after a divorce, but you can keep these guidelines in mind to make the transition easier.